Lean UX- when Jeff met Foolproof

By Tim Loo @timothyloo

Jeff Gothelf, Managing Director of neo New York and author (with Josh Seiden) of 'Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience' visited Foolproof last week to meet the team and to talk lean UX.

I met Jeff at UX Hong Kong this year where we were both speaking and running workshops.

It was great to meet and get to know Jeff at our speaker’s dinner and when he told me he would be in the UK for UX London, I jumped at the chance to get Jeff to visit us at Foolproof HQ.

Jeff gave a wonderful impromptu talk to the team about the philosophy and central principles of his book. Oh, and by the way, go buy and read the book. It’s full of tactics and practical advice to getting started with Lean UX. It’s also actually lean by name and nature at less than 200 pages.

It was Jeff’s discussion about moving client organisations away from managing through outputs to managing through outcomes and impacts that really resonated with me.

Outputs > outcomes > impacts

Jeff cut his teeth client-side in bringing together agile development and UX at theladders.com and it was interesting to hear him describe both the process and cultural shifts required to make lean UX work. Spending time understanding the actual problem and creating hypotheses to test requires a culture which understands that our first instinct, solution or decision might not be right to achieve the desired outcome.

Many management environments favour and reward certainty and decisiveness (“Respect my authority. I’m the decider”). Organisations use agencies as deliverers of outputs for specific solutions (often untested hypotheses) as opposed to partners in achieving specific outcomes.

In making the move from client to agency-side, Jeff had many stories which mirrored my own and it’s fair to say neo and Foolproof are kindred spirits in taking up this challenge.

Anyway, a big thanks to Jeff from the Foolproof team and we look forward to catching up soon.

Follow Jeff: @jboogie
Buy the book: Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience

Tim Loo

I’m the Strategy Director at Foolproof and head up our Experience Strategy practice. I take a lead role when our clients are looking to formally create an experience strategy, plan and measurement framework. It’s an exciting area to work in and an increasingly critical and integral part of many a corporate’s business strategy.

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